Saturday, March 16, 2013

Intuition

Each birth is a unique journey. Every time I think that I have figured out my body...my "birthing pattern" you might say...I get thrown for a loop. 

I've always given birth on my due date or a couple days after; we scheduled a business trip for my husband just before my due date that I felt pretty confident about...until of course he left for the trip. I felt uneasy and anxious. It was a leap of faith to follow my feelings and ask my husband to come home a day early...it was an expensive and inconvenient change of plans...but having my husband there for the birth the next morning made it more than worth it.

I've always given birth at night, going into active labor right after bedtime and giving birth early in the morning. At first I kept discounting the contractions I was getting all day...thinking that nothing exciting would happen until evening. But I finally felt like it was time to fill the birth tub that morning while my husband was at Costco. By the time he got home (around 3pm), I felt like I wanted to get in. He raised his eyebrows in surprise when I told him, and asked me if I was sure (even he was in disbelief!!) I was feeling a bit snarky at that point and made it clear that I could get in and out of that tub as many times as I darn well wanted.

I had my sister call my midwives, (Kim Garrett with Dearborn Midwifery) and told her I thought she should start getting ready to head over in a couple hours. Five minutes later I told her to head over now but not to rush. Five minutes later I told her to rush.

I was in the tub by 4:10pm. My sisters were amazing doulas. They encouraged me, kept cool washcloths on my shoulders and forehead, kept my hair out of my face, gave me water...and kept tossing ice cubes into the tub because I filled it up with really hot water thinking it would need to stay warm until the night time. My husband was my rock: when I was out of the tub, I needed him to hold me up; when I was in the tub, I needed him to press on my lower back (constantly!) 

I listened to my body and changed positions as I needed to, sitting on the ball and rolling my hips, leaning on my husband standing up, swaying on my hands and knees over the birth ball, in and out of the tub.

My last two water births I pushed on my hands and knees, and my babies' were born after a few long hard contractions. I was really confused when I felt like I needed to put my feet up on the side of the tub (and I still needed my husband to press on my back!) so I reached up my hand without looking. I'll never forget when my midwife and my sister instinctively took both my hands without my verbalizing anything. But the contractions were short and not very strong. I got to the point where I felt like I was slitting in two and I couldn't believe the baby hadn't crowned yet. I just remember asking God to help me over and over again. 

Finally little Fiona was born. I pulled her right up into my arms; she was alert but quiet. Just looking around, eyes blinking, nuzzling into my chest. We both were just so relieved it was over. She latched on while I was still in the tub, and after about 20 minutes we moved over to the couch to wait for the placenta to birth. My daughter cut the cord, and everything proceeded normally. I was so alert and happy. Fiona was born at 5:40pm. I had never had a baby before midnight, and I couldn't believe how awake and energized I felt. My sisters brought me a fruit smoothie, clean clothes, and eventually helped me up to my room. Fiona was a super nurser. Everything was beautiful, peaceful, and perfect...not the direct straight path I anticipated, but by trusting and listening to my intuition we found our way in and out of the labyrinth of birth together.


I went to sleep that night with snow falling softly outside my window, my husband and my new baby snuggling with me in our warm bed, and a team of midwives, sisters, and family watching over us.


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